Start collecting materials in case you have to do all the marketing. Commercial distributors will probably come up with their own stuff. But there are worse issues than having a major distribution company tell you that your amateur marketing materials don’t meet its standards. And amateur is definitely the key word – you don’t want to spend too much on any of this.
Preparing to Market Your Project
This may be the first time your project has a marketing department involved, but it’s not the first time it’s been marketed. Remember all those photographs and behind the scenes clips you made in production? Keep working with those. You probably just slapped them onto a social media forum or website before you got your four hours of sleep between shooting days. Is there something more creative you can do with all of that? If you have any artist friends who are still willing to work for free, have them design some cool artwork – you could even have a poster contest. Just make sure you have all the rights to any designs you plan to use in promoting the project.
You’ve probably had film posters hanging in your room at some point. In old school industry slang, these were called a “one-sheet,” which meant an eye-catching image for your project. The trick here is not to be too dull. If you simply use a still photo from the film, find a way to make it resonate. Study other posters you’ve liked. Do they have any common characteristics?
You should have plenty of these already from the set. Are there are any images from scenes in the actual work you can add to the collection? You can also include photos of your cast and crew. Actors in particular may want you to use a particular headshot, so make sure to ask.
Professional press kits can get pretty glossy. In its simplest form though, a press kit is a synopsis of your project and a collection of bios from the cast and crew. Check your facts, especially if you have people submit their own information. If you don’t have a printer, now might be the time to finally buy one second hand.
Ideally, you’ve had your website up and running for a while. Even more ideally, it’s been regularly updated since pre-production. All these materials you’re gathering right now? Upload them. If you don’t already have a blog, start one now to chronicle the distribution of your project. And again, think about what might keep people engaged. Don’t think of this as a chore. Have some fun with it. If you had any story ideas you had to cut, maybe figure out a way to incorporate them onto the web.